Sheila B. Robinson on a Fabulous Way to Start Your Summer: AEA’s Summer Evaluation Institute

Hello Evaluation Learners! I’m Sheila B. Robinson, aea365’s Lead Curator and sometimes Saturday contributor, coming to you from Rochester, NY where we’re enjoying our first warm weekend in ages and I’m thinking summer! In March I wrote about a great opportunity for summer – the 2014 AEA Summer Evaluation Institute – and gave a preview of some of the high quality professional development courses offered. Today, I’ll share a few more.

Note: Descriptions are truncated, so please visit the site for complete descriptions:

Rad Resources: The Institute opens with two concurrent pre-institute workshops:

Practical Methods for Improving Evaluation Communication with Stephanie Evergreen

…attendees will learn the science behind presenting data effectively and will leave with direct, pointed changes that can be immediately administered to their own conference presentations and other evaluation deliverables. … the workshop will address principles of graph, slideshow, and report design that support legibility, comprehension, and retention of our data in the minds of our clients. Grounded in visual processing theory, the principles will enhance attendees’ ability to communicate more effectively with peers, colleagues, and clients through a focus on the proper use of color, arrangement, graphics, and text in written evaluation documents.

Introduction to Evaluation with Thomas Chapel

…an overview of program evaluation for Institute participants with some, but not extensive, prior background in program evaluation. The session will be organized around the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) six-step Framework for Program Evaluation in Public Health as well as the four sets of evaluation standards from the Joint Commission on Evaluation Standards. …The course will touch on all six steps, but particular emphasis will be put on the early steps, including identification and engagement of stakeholders, creation of logic models, and selecting/focusing evaluation questions.

Among concurrent session offerings during the Institute are:

Focus Group Research: Understanding, Designing and Implementing with Michelle Revels

As a qualitative research method, focus groups are an important tool to help researchers understand the motivators and determinants of a given behavior. This course provides a practical introduction to focus group research.

Using Theory to Improve Evaluation Practice with Stewart Donaldson

…provide evaluators with an opportunity to improve their understanding of how to use theory to improve evaluation practice. We’ll examine social science theory and stakeholder theories, including theories of change and their application to making real improvements in how evaluations are framed and conducted.

Fundamentals of Survey Sampling for Evaluators with Michael Cohen

…targets evaluators who do not have experience in developing or assessing the various sampling frameworks, but who have an interest in better understanding this fundamental concept. Beginning with clarifying the scientific language and operational lingo of the field, you will review basic approaches and identify the benefits and pitfalls of each.

Hot Tip: Registration is still open for the 2014 AEA Summer Evaluation Institute – June 1-4 in Atlanta, GA but courses do fill up!

Do you have questions, concerns, kudos, or content to extend this aea365 contribution? Please add them in the comments section for this post on the aea365 webpage so that we may enrich our community of practice. Would you like to submit an aea365 Tip? Please send a note of interest to . aea365 is sponsored by the American Evaluation Association and provides a Tip-a-Day by and for evaluators.

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